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How Associations Can Preserve Revenue During Economic Downturns

We've got some examples your association can include in member benefits to help preserve your revenue streams, even in the hardest of times.

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One of the biggest challenges associations have faced during this pandemic has been the ability to preserve revenue while members couldn’t find jobs and advertisers didn’t have jobs to offer. Without an abundance of open positions, it’s been difficult for associations to build revenue streams since members weren’t as willing to pay for added member benefits they once relied so heavily on.

However, there are specific programs and member benefits that have proven to show a return on investment and have helped associations preserve the revenue they need to stay on track. These kinds of programs and benefits have been deemed “resilient” by ASAE’s blog, Associations Now. 

Managing director of business strategy at .orgSource, Sharon Rice stated in a blog from Associations Now, “Resiliency essentially means you have programs, that as we see the economic ups and downs, those programs stay important; they’re core to us and our members and people continue to engage.”

The blog post titled, Look to Your Resilient Programs to Help Maintain Revenue, discusses the resiliency of reskilling microlearning and micro-credentialing, as they have proven to be more effective than the “one and done programs” during economic downturns. Here are some reskilling examples your association can include in member benefits to help preserve your revenue streams.

Technology Training

With a wide range membership base, chances are many of them have knowledge about specific technology and programs they use on a day-to-day business in their jobs. Utilizing your member base to create microlearning resources can be extremely beneficial to your other members who are interested in the same job titles and descriptions as these members. 

Your trained members can create short videos about how to use specific programs, best practices, shortcuts and so much more that will come in handy for members who need to learn these types of skills as they job search. Some examples could include Excel training, Quickbooks, Adobe Suite products or any other programs that your members use in their career field. 

Public Speaking Tips

Some members may need to refresh their presenting skills. As members progress in their careers, this skill will become more vital to advancing into Director and C-Level positions. It seems like a basic skill anyone learned in high school or college, but it’s an important skill to continuously refine and improve upon. 

You can contact your members that have been guest speakers, are Director or C-Level employees or just have really great tips and tricks for public speaking. Another addition to this section could be virtual public speaking, like for webinars and meetings. As we have moved further into video conferencing, it’s an important skill to have to captivate audiences and deliver materials in a clear and concise manner through computer screens.

Industry Specific Skills

Every industry is going to have specific skill sets needed to be successful, so you can look to your courses and certifications to see if there are ways to create microlearning and micro-credentialing opportunities from them that would be less expensive for members to do. 

For example, if your association serves the events industry, you can create microlearning sessions from an event planning certification course in catering, trade show event marketing and so much more. To make these successful, determine which categories have been most popular with your members and have generated the most revenue for your association. From there, you can then create these opportunities to preserve revenue in economic downturns.

With the right mindset and planning, your association can push through economic downturns while preserving revenue and supporting your members. It’s important to pick subjects and programs that are resilient and will generate interest from your member base. Your members are experts in their field and have worked hard to get to where they are in their careers, so turning to them to create microlearning and credentialing programs is attractive to your members who need more assistance in those areas, but are facing financial hardships and can’t afford to take your more expensive courses. 

Take a look at the courses and certifications you offer already and see what you can come up with to preserve revenue during economic downturns.